Child Sexual Abuse & Child Molestation FAQs

  • What is considered sexual abuse of a child?
  • A number of different things can constitute sexual abuse of a child. Touching a child in a sexual manner on the buttocks or genitalia are most common. Photographing a child nude, or asking the child to take part in a sexual act also are sex offenses. Any sexual act done with or in the presence of a minor is considered a felony and is punishable by imprisonment.

  • Which are the symptoms of sexual abuse in children?
  • Symptoms of sexual abuse in children may vary greatly depending on the type of contact, and the individual child.  Since sexual abuse may only involve touching, there may not always be physical symptoms which can be observed. Likewise, some physical symptoms which may be consistent with sexual abuse may also be the result of infection or illness. There are no signs or symptoms which conclusively state that sexual abuse has occurred. Any child suspected to have been a victim of abuse should be taken to a qualified medical professional for a full medical evaluation to determine if abuse has occurred.

  • What do I do if false allegations of child sexual abuse?
  • Allegations that a person has sexually abused a child are taken very seriously by the State of Florida,  and the potential consequences can be devastating. As soon as a person suspects a child may have alleged that sexual abuse has occurred, that person should immediately seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney experienced in defending these types of cases. The earlier an attorney is involved, the more they can do, especially in false allegations, to keep charges from being filed. 

  • What is child molestation 1st degree?
  • Child molestation in Florida is criminally charged as Lew Act upon a Child.  It is typically charged as a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in the Department of Corrections.

  • What happens if you are found guilty in a child molestation hearing?
  • Any person convicted of child molestation, or Lewd Act or Battery upon a child faces a potential sentence in the Florida Department of Corrections, regardless of whether the person has a prior criminal history.  This is due to the seriousness of these type of charges.

  • Can you appeal a child molestation ruling?
  • If  a person is convicted at trial, there is an absolute right to appeal any decision against you. This would include any pretrial rulings made by the court, as well as trial rulings and the verdict reached by the jury.

  • What are the penalties for child on child molestation?
  • The penalties for sexual molestation on a child vary, depending on the type and severity of the assault, as well as the age of the child.  All sexual assaults against children are felonies, meaning that the punishments may include time in the Florida department of Corrections.  The most serious charges of Sexual Battery on child under twelve years of age carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

  • Which can be mitigating factors in child molestation?
  • There are a number of mitigating factors which can affect the sentence of a person convicted of child molestation. These can include the fact that the victim was a willing participant.  The fact that a child consented to a sexual act cannot be used as a defense to the charge, but a judge may consider that as grounds for giving a lesser sentence than otherwise called for by the law. There are a number of other factors which may influence the ultimate sentence. It is important to seek out an attorney with experience in handling these type of cases.

  • Will a child have to stand in court for a molestation charge?
  • If a case goes to trial, the child will have to appear in court to testify about the sexual assault or molestation. The United States Constitution guarantees an accused the right to confront his accuser in court, and have his lawyer question them. This is a fundamental tenet of our judicial system, and is not waived even when the accuser is a child.

  • Can a 12 year old be prosecuted for child molestation against a younger child?
  • Any person who is capable of intentionally sexually assaulting another person, even a child, can be criminally charged for their actions. If the accused is under the age of eighteen, they are typically charged in the Juvenile Court system. Juvenile courts are specially designed to deal with juvenile offenders, and have their own punishment system. Punishment for juvenile offenders can vary greatly from adult sanctions for the same conduct.


Orlando Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

If you are charged with any type of sex crimes in Orlando or anywhere in Central Florida, including sexual battery, please call our Central Florida sex crimes defense lawyer immediatly at 866-680-4LAW to discuss your case. Our early interventation may be key for the outcome of your case. You may also fill out the online form provided at the top of this page and we will contact you shortly. We respond to after-hours messages promptly. Evening or weekend appointments are available on request. We offer a free consultation and we will keep all your information confidential.

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